The news is ugly, but the snow is beautiful.
1. Who’s really to blame for the shutdown? A weak and feckless GOP Speaker was the culprit, the wishy-washy, onflicted and above-it-all Paul Ryan.He had a Republican majority in the House, and lacked the leadership, resolve and political skills to take care of the border issue when the opportunity was there. Is there any doubt that Nancy Pelosi, Tip O’Neil or Newt Gingrich couldn’t have gotten the job done?
We were constantly told that Ryan was a reluctant Speaker. Reluctant leaders are almost never effective leaders; leaders want to lead and like to lead, and it is unethical to assume the role of a leader when you don’t have the spine or the skills to do the job.
2. Stop making Ann Althouse defend Donald Trump! Ann, with assists from Seth Barrett Tilman and Glenn Reynolds, does a nice job debunking writer John McWhorter’s cheap shot criticism of the President in his “Trump’s Typos Reveal His Lack of Fitness for the Presidency/They suggest not just inadequate manners or polish, but inadequate thought.”
“The president of the United States has many faults, but let’s not ignore this one: He cannot write sentences. If a tree falls in a forrest and no one is there to hear it … wait: Pretty much all of you noticed that mistake, right? Yet Wednesday morning, the president did not; he released a tweet referring to ‘forrest fires’ twice, as if these fires were set by Mr. Gump. Trump’s serial misuse of public language is one of many shortcomings that betray his lack of fitness for the presidency. Trump’s writing suggests not just inadequate manners or polish—not all of us need be dainty—but inadequate thought. Nearly every time he puts thumb to keypad, he exposes that he has never progressed beyond the mentality of the precollegiate, trash-talking teen.”
- Writers naturally think writing skill is the most important skill of all, and that it proves virtue and brilliance. Writing, however, is almost completely irrelevant to leadership. Speaking is a key leadership skill, especially for a President, but 1) Many Presidents, including some very effective ones, have been wretched speakers (LBJ, Ike) 2) Many of the best writers among the Presidents have been wretched Presidents (Grant, Wilson) 3) Some Presidents had other write for them but too credit for it (JFK)
- Judging anyone’s writing base on Twitter is idiotic. I wonder if McWhorter understands how Twitter works.
- Read the post for an exhaustive take-down of the assumption that spelling and writing skills are related.
3. Stop making me defend Donald Trump! The fact that the President initially refused to dignify the (quite possibly sarcastic) question about whether he was a Russian agent with a direct answer is being used by Democrats and others as some kind of evidence that he actually was. It is an insulting question, and classic Big Lie manipulation to ask it, in the same category as “Did you ever have sex with your mother?” or “Are you a psychopath?” The trick is to make someone deny an outrageous assertion and then it has been elevated to a controversy.
4. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Smoking gun: In the New York Times Sunday Review, Times columnist Frank Bruni openly calls upon journalists to work to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 with “Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again” — We have a second chance in 2020. Let’s not blow it.”
Nice. No, this time a mean it: it’s nice for someone to be honest about the news media’s agenda and bias. “With the dawn of 2019 and the acceleration of potential Democratic candidates’ preparations for presidential bids, we have a chance to do things differently than we did the last time around — to redeem ourselves,” he writes.
These people really think they have a duty to put their thumb on the scales, manipulate the vote, and tilt elections. The only way the Times and the rest could “redeeem themselves” is to start reporting the news straight, without tilt, spin, or games. They can’t do it.
5. Remember, the Times endorsed this guy…. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio last week announced socialized health care in his city, covering the 600,000 New Yorkers who don’t have health insurance, including illegal aliens. CNN’s Jake Tapper, who is still capable of asking tough question of Democrats when the mood strikes, asked why such a policy wouldn’t simply mean everyone wanting free health care to treat their illnesses would come to New York City.
De Blasio: “I don’t see that happening.”
Oh! Good point. I never considered that. Of course it won’t happen.
Tapper: “You said something pretty radical this week that I want to ask you about. You said there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in the city. It’s just in the wrong hands.”
De Blasio : Yep. That is a quote.”
Tapper: “Who decides whose hands are the right hands and whose hands are the wrong hands?”
De Blasio: “When I say there’s plenty of money in this country, it’s just in the wrong hands, it means to say we need policies that give back to working people. Like guaranteeing health care for all.”
Tapper: “What’s interesting about the argument, which struck a lot of people, is you are not talking about fairness. You are saying these people have money and it’s wrong that they have money. Not that they have money, they live exorbitant or wealthy lifestyles and can give more to help these people. You’re saying it’s wrong they have money. Who is deciding whether it’s wrong?”
De Blasio: “It’s clear to me why it’s wrong because government policies gave the 1 percent every conceivable leg up. This was not by accident. As I say, this was an agenda. Systematic. You go back decades, even to the time of Dwight Eisenhower. We had some of the highest tax rates on the wealthy this country ever saw. We had a prosperous country. We had that prosperity pretty well shared among different people, including working people in this country. We had investments in infrastructure. The kinds of things that grew the economy for everyone.”
De Blasio is a communist, as far as I can see, as well as a nascent dictator. He’ll determine who should have money, of course. Like all communists, he sells his false paradise using lies. The high post-war tax rates cannot honestly be compared to sound policy today, and this current talking point is designed to intentionally deceive. It is the news media’s job to explain historical context and basic economics to the public sufficiently that demagogues like De Blasio have to deal with reality rather than spout working class hero slogans right out of the mouth of Lenin.